Elsie Muniz

The Urban Latina.

Kandi and Tiny

Off The Hook: Unreleased demos from the early 2000s!


The Truth About Choice.


Another shelved R'n'B group from 1997


The First Lady of SoulPower.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Mondane: Wake Up (Dutch CDM) (CNR Music, 1998)

A further rare trio from the Netherlands and their most widely known single. They recorded many styles of music from R&B to disco to house and went through at least two different line ups. Their singles include a cover of "Ring My Bell" featuring Dutch house act The Course, the above release (which received some plays on Dutch TV), "Y.A.O.M.M." or "You Are On My Mind" and lastly a house track "Love Has Kissed Me." The lead singer of the group was Tanya Shakison who these days is still active in the biz with her group Tanya's Chill. Not as mainstream sounding as say Dignity or Juice - the original version of the above single is very much rooted in classic soul music - but still a great group nonetheless with a very versatile sound.  Many thanks again to Stuaaart for another great contribution.

Wake Up 3:33
Wake Up Classical 3:49
I Want Your Love 3:06
Wake Tripp'r Up 3:53
Wake Up With Me 3:40

Natural Impact: Don't You Even Try (CDM) (Skillz Records, 1998)

First posted as part of a section on obscure European girl groups back in 2017, Natural Impact were a Dutch or at least a Holland-based girl group similar to En Vogue. I know little about them but a music video for the song was made and can be found on You Tube. The song was featured on the following Dutch compilation "Skillz Presentz: New York - Amsterdam" but much of the label's catalog was released in the U.S.

Don't You Even Try (Radio Mix)    3:34
Don't You Even Try (Radio Without Rap)    3:25
Don't You Even Try (Remix)    3:52
Don't You Even Try (12 Mix)    5:05
Don't You Even Try (Instrumental)    3:24
Don't You Even Try (Remix Instrumental)    3:50

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Trinetta: Shoulda Never Let Him (Taste It) (CDM) (Mello City Records, 1995)

Possible early release from independent artist Trinetta Love who originally hailed from the Tri-State area but is now based in Georgia. It was somehow listed under the "Garage House" category on Discogs but the style is 90s R&B with hip hop beats, scratches and samples. The record label still appears to be active and as still promoting some of their artists that they signed back then but for unknown reasons Love doesn't appear to be among them. She has since released two full length albums "Free Agent" and "Enfamous" to CDBaby...you may have also seen her interviewing 50Cent on VH1*.

Radio Edit 3:39
Accappella 3:22
Extended Version w/ Rap 5:05
Instrumental Groove 3:21
Street Mix 3:38

*Purely my own observations going by the similarities in appearances and vocals.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Lady: You'll Never Change (CDM) (C & S Records, 1995)

Produced and written by Eugene Wilde, a further mid-tempo R&B, soul cut from Brunswick, GA. I don't know anything about the artist but Wilde's sister Dee Dee Wilde is on backing vocals (her 2001 album is posted here.)

Also pressed onto 12" vinyl and as always selling for a ridiculous amount of money on Discogs. As always many thanks again to Stuaaart for getting a CD copy. Luckily he managed to score this for just over $10 which is a little more realistic I think!

You'll Never Change 4:30
You'll Never Change [Instrumental] 4:26

Willisha Norris: Don't Keep Me Waiting (CDM) (Bell Tower Entertainment Group, 1994)

Def 90s swingbeat pressing from the City of Brotherly Love. I know nothing about the artist but she does but does have a Last FM profile and seemingly, an album out there....somewhere. No information on the label Bell Tower Entertainment Group but they only have one other artist Kenny Stone in their back catalog from what I've seen so far. **CD pressing with an additional hip hop mix of this slammin' track for yo' listening pleasure. As always, many thanks again to Stuaaart for the contribution**

Don't Keep Me Waiting 4:20
Don't Keep Me Waiting [Hip-Hop Mix] 5:02

Monday, October 21, 2019

Meisha (aka Jameisha Trice): My Life (Dungeon Productions, 2000)

2000 local release from Chi-Town's Jameisha Trice who has been releasing music since the the mid 90s with "Quit Doggin' Me Out" which - along with the self-titled album that she released along with it - has since become somewhat of a sought-after item in collector's circuits. Along with B.G.O.T.I., her brand of G-Funk-esque R&B was off the chain but sadly stayed pretty much underground. I posted her 2006 demo a year ago but here is an earlier album that she did at the turn of the millennium. The sound is very synonymous with Chicago-style R&B in the early 2000s with mainly a very downtempo, smooth sound. Tracks 8 & 9 feature Lil' Bud who along with his brother Tizone were signed by Keith Sweat as "Lil Bud & Tizone" in the mid 90s. Many thanks again to Stuart for the contribution.

My Life 4:36
Lovin' In Vain 3:53
You Don't Love Me 2:48
Stand By 5:38
Tonight 3:49
Love I Want 3:40
Wanna Be With You 3:17
The Block 4:08
Ride With You 4:00
Only Lover 3:14

Sadly although this album is truly great in every way, it is spoiled by the fact that we (Stuart and I) inadvertently acquired a illegitimate pressing through a well-known  seller on eBay. It seems he has become so desperate to sell that he has now resorted to flogging burned CDrs of his past biggest sellers.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

R&B Dubplate Pressure Vol. 1 (CD Comp) (UEG Music, 200x)

Upon hearing the first track on this CD by Jean Norris (originally of Zhané), it sounded extremely familiar to me...turns out I'd heard Leona Lewis singing the exact same track on her 2008 album "Best Kept Secret." The label UEG Records was apparently the singer's second foray into the music business and they allegedly spent a five-figure sum trying to launch her career in 2005 with no success. I don't know who recorded the track first but seeing as Norris' version showed up on a 2002 vinyl compilation, I am guessing it was most likely her. The vast majority of these artists were produced by Barry Bee Offoh who used his label UEG (Unknown Entertainment Group) to help launch the careers of unsigned UK talent. Other producers include his co-founder Joseph Powell and Rico Anderson, a respected DJ and producer from DC. Many of these artists are unknown but there are a few familiar names such as Salt-N-Pepa and Jamecia Bennett. The compositions by Bennett - along with the track by US male quartet Lo Key - I am guessing were from shelved projects in the mid to late 90s. Some tracks such those by Craig Mack's former artist Audiya AKA Gentlemen Thug sound a little cheesy - a touch overproduced with all the scratching - but overall Offah had a good ear for talent and for production. It is a shame he put all his energy into Leona Lewis although I can see why he did.

Ready To Get Down 4:01 (Jean Norris)
Hot 2 Deff (Deep Inside) 3:42 (Audiya)
Baby Girl 3:45 (Audiya)
Imagine 3:56 (Salt-N-Pepa feat. Sheryl Crow)
U Got To Believe Pt 2 4:50 (Sounds Of Blackness)
Never Get Enough 4:08 (Cornell Stone)
Thug Wife 4:02 Jamecia Bennett)
Where Da Party At 5:46 (Lace feat. Nonchalant)
I Can Tell 3:27 (Galactic Mutherland)
1, 2 & 3 (U And Me) 4:10 (Jaz Jackson)
The Way You Should Be Loved 3:50 (Lo Key)
Everyday (I Can) 5:05 (J Hella)
RU Single 4:09 (Gentlemen Thug feat. Audiya)
Signed And Sealed 5:18 (Jamecia Bennett)
Thug Life (Remix) 4:17 (Jamecia Bennett)
Destiny (Bonus) 3:30 (Galactic Mutherland)

Shorty ''B'' Records Presents: Platinum Vol. 1 (Shorty ''B'' Records, 2002)

More music from my local area with Shorty B Records and a mixture of Hip Hop, G-Funk and contemporary R&B from a selection of male and female artists alike. Put together to raise awareness of Lupus, many of them are unknown but stand-out tracks include the steamy "Tonight" by Tangary (male) and the G-Funk jeep joint "Sunshine State" by Mes'Te (female MC.) One artist Moniquea - a modern funk singer - was brought up in Pasadena by her mother who was the lead singer of a local group The Roses. Her eponymous album was released digitally in 2011. Another featured artist Kanya Coleman also released further work although I don't know anything about her. The label appears to be no longer active but was owned by Stuart Jordan (aka Shorty B) who was formally a member of Digital Underground in their beginnings. Later he was known for his work for Too Short and The Dangerous Crew. I don't know if he ever released anything else.

The Love He Gave 3:59 (Kanya Coleman)
Lost Souls 3:50 (Marvin Walker)
It's You 3:34 (Patricia Diaz)
Sunshine State 3:41 (Tresjur Feat. Tangaray)
Trying To Play Me 4:00 (Moniquea)
Shake It For Me 4:41 (Lil V)
Get About 3:45 (Heavenly)
Freaky 4:06 (Tangaray)
A Party Ain't A Party 3:26 (Moniquea Feat. Toccara)
Come Back To Me 3:09 (Ali Taylor)
Tonight 6:17 (Tangaray)
Plugs 3:55 (Mes'Te Feat. Tangaray)

Monday, October 7, 2019

Lovecat Music Presents: Hip Hop & R&B Jams Vol. 1 & Solid Soul Vol. 2

More obscure R&B from Lovecat Music, an independent label based out of NYC with a catalog of over 10,000 songs from various artists across many genres. They started out dabbling in indie rock but these days they are mostly known for their extensive Latin catalog. Outside of Joya Owens and South African vocal quartet Khalil, most of their R&B acts seemed to appear on compilations like the ones above. Sadly the vast majority of the tracks are subpar 'alternative' hip hop but there are a few good tracks here. I don't know anything about any of the artists but I am pretty certain that one of them Sex is not the same male group as was signed to Pendulum Records in the 90s. Many of them appear to be Canadian and "Solid Soul Vol. 2" in particular seems to be a continuation of sorts to this album here. Sadly once again most of the track-list is marred yet again by more poor alternative hip hop, notably Nigel Williams and his awful group Pocket Dwellers. Stand out tracks include "Everything's Changed" by Caroldene and "Come On" by My-Kal. "Sexual" by Sex also deserves a mention although that along with "Water Deep" by Nenareechi appear to be very underground sounding and in monaural sound only.

Hip Hop & R&B Jams Vol. 1 (hip hop & rap tracks omitted)
Everything Changed 2:57 Caroldene
Sexual 2:40 SEX+Y
Never Gonna Leave You 3:00 JES
Water Deep 2:43 Nenareechi
 Just Keep On Walking 1:55 Rod
Groove On 2:58 G-Melos
Peek-a-Boo 2:52 G-Melos

Solid Soul Vol. 2 (hip hop & rap tracks omitted)
Good Life 4:40 Kaybe
Coming Home 4:44 Kaybe
Here We Are 4:54 Kaybe
Come On 4:56 My-Kal

Thursday, October 3, 2019

PMC: Pure Heat (Oasis CD & Cassette Duplication, 1998)

Further previously unheard R&B out of Philly with Oasis CD & Cassette Duplication's "Pure Heat" compilation. Noteworthy artists include Keli Nicole Price (not to be confused with Kelly Price) whose later claim to fame was co-writing "Deja Vu" for Beyoncé, Shawn Chappelle, East Coast trio Pro and female quartet Vyntaje. Pro's Gerald Thomas produced 4 bangin' tracks on Nicole Wray's debut album and also produced the tracks here by Chappelle and Vyntaje. He later formed Dynamic Duo with David Holmes who produced tracks for Lil' Mo, Total and MC Lyte. As part of Pro he also had an earlier single "Thoughts Of You." As for Price, she is often confused with fellow singer Kelly Price but her name is actually Keli Price and as well as Beyoncé, she has also co-written Darkchild-produced tracks for Dainty Kane and Tamia along with Canadian singer-songwriter Delisha Thomas. Other interesting tracks include the soulful & smooth "You Will Know" by Marlowe and "When You Cry" by Vocal Pointe, a Latin contemporary R&B group similar to C-Note.

You Will Know 2:07 (Marlowe)
It's Just A Promo 1:33 (Storm The Unpredictable)
Long Time Coming 5:15 (Gemini)
I Will Put It On U 4:14 (Jack Napia)
S.N.A.K.E.S. 5:08 (D.S. 2000)
T.H.U.G.S. 4:23 (Freddie Fingaz & DA Kleptoz)
Outer Space 4:02 (The Inkredible)
To Those In Need 4:42 (Gia)
Don't Know Why 3:19 (Keli Nicole Price)
Everything 3:03 (Pro)
The One 3:49 (Vyntaje)
Neva B Lonely 3:59 (Shawn Chappelle)
Sweet Honey Brown 4:33 (Ascension)
It's Not About The Game 5:11 (Frell Rell)
Midnight Blue 3:48 (Bottomland)
Delivery Man 3:25 (Herd Of Blues)
When You Cry 4:17 (Vocal Pointe)
Triple Threat 3:55 (C-Sharp)